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Dooreh-ye Ketaab Book Discussion

2024 Dooreh-ye Ketaab Book Selection and Discussion Dates

2024 Dooreh Book Selection and Discussion Dates

All Doorehs are held in odd-numbered months, on the second Wednesday, at 5:00pm Pacific (8:00pm Eastern). A Zoom link will be emailed to you close to the meeting date. If you have never attended a Dooreh, please send email to to ask for the link. If you have attended previously, we have you in the list, you're good.

Looking forward to seeing you at a Dooreh!

Jackie Spurlock (Abadeh, Riz/ZarrinShahr, 1974-76)  and Jim Goode (Tuyserkan, 1968-71)


The results are in and below is the list of six books chosen by members of the Dooreh-ye Ketaab to be read in 2024.  Each of the six authors has agreed to participate in the discussion of his/her book.  The Dooreh is open to anyone who is interested.  No additional obligations implied.  Please join us on Zoom whenever your schedule allows.  

January 10

Hakakian, Roya, A Beginner's Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious (2022) A stirring, witty, and poignant glimpse into the bewildering American immigrant experience from someone who has lived it. Into the maelstrom of unprecedented contemporary debates about immigrants in the United States, this perfectly timed book gives us a portrait of what the new immigrant experience in America is really like. Hakakian a what those who settle here love about the country, what they miss about their homes, the cruelty of some Americans, and the unceasing generosity of others. She captures the texture of life in a new place in all its complexity, laying bare both its beauty and its darkness as she discusses race, sex, love, death, consumerism, and what it is like to be from a country that is in America's crosshairs.

March 13

Rad, Assal, The State of Resistance: Politics, Identity and Culture in Modern Iran (2022) Rad examines a country that is often misunderstood.  Using innovative multi-disciplinary methods, she investigates the formation of an Iranian national identity over the last century and, significantly, the role of Iranian people in defining the contours of that identity. By employing popular culture, Rad aims to rediscover the ordinary Iranian in studies of contemporary Iran, demonstrating how identity was shaped by music, literature, and film. Both accessible in style and meticulously researched, her work cultivates a more holistic picture of Iranian politics and society, showing how the Iran of the past is intimately connected to that of the present.

May 8

Arvin, Amir, The Mirror Years (2022) In this diary/novel, forty-year-old Pedram, an Iranian immigrant living in Sweden, suffers a mid-life crisis following his birthday. He is troubled by the loss of his best friend, but he cannot remember how he lost him. He decides to review his diaries from post-revolutionary Iran and takes us on a personal, revelatory, psychological journey through his family, school years, university, political and philosophical discussions with a cast of fascinating characters that provide a backdrop to growing up at the time in Iran.

July 10


Frame, Margaret A., Passage to Persia – Writings of an American Doctor During Her Life in Iran, 1929-1957 (2014) In 1929 Adelaide Kibbe was a 27-year-old missionary physician who set out from New York, headed for Iran. It would be 28 years before she returned home, and during the ensuing decades she would see huge changes in her adopted country. Through her letters to family, diaries and mission reports we have an insight into a country which has undergone tremendous cultural, social and political change. Adelaide's personal observations open a window to a bygone era brought to life through her engaging and timeless writings.


September 11

Goode, James F. (Peace Corps Iran Volunteer), Negotiating for the Past: Archaeology, Nationalism, and Diplomacy in the Middle East, 1919-1941 (2007) A transitional period in Middle Eastern archaeology, as nationalists asserted their claims to antiquities discovered within their borders.  Motivated by politics as much as by scholarship, nationalists sought to unite citizens through pride in their ancient past as they challenged Western powers. In Iran they were able to hold onto discoveries at legendary sites such as Persepolis. Retaining artifacts allowed them to build museums and control cultural heritage. Western archaeologists became identified (in the eyes of many) as agents of imperialism, thus making their work more difficult, and often necessitating diplomatic intervention.

November 13

Wangsness, Genna Stead (Peace Corps Iran Volunteer), Land Between Two Waters: The Peace Corps  Fourteen Years in Iran, 1962-1976 (2023) This is a chronological history of the fifty groups that trained for and served in Iran during the reign of the last shah.  Through hundreds of stories drawn from their rich and varied experiences, we learn how those volunteers adjusted to a way of life so different from their own. Later, when the country became rich from oil and expats with little knowledge of the country’s language or culture arrived, working at jobs paying extravagant wages, the Peace Corps made the decision to withdraw. The interaction of Americans and Iranians sharing their lives at a personal level came to an end. This volume records for posterity memories of those who lived through those historic and life-changing times.


The Dooreh takes place on the second Wednesday of every other month, beginning in January.  We meet at 5pm PST/8pm EST.  Hoping to see you in the new year.

Happy Holidays,

Jackie Spurlock (Abadeh, Riz/Zarrinshah, 1974-1976), Jim Goode (Tuyserkan, 1968-1971) co-coordinators

List of Books Discussed

You can download the complete list of books read and discussed since 2017 by clicking here.